STRONGERLEANER's SparkPeople Blog STRONGERLEANER's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community It's September! Hmmm...I thought I had already posted a blog about my September goals. I must not have hit the button to post or something. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> August was pitiful, but September is going to be STRONG! <BR> <BR> My goals are modest and, therefore, I feel they are achievable. <BR> <BR> GOALS FOR SEPTEMBER <BR> <BR> * An average of 30 minutes of exercise per day resulting in at least 900 minutes this month <BR> * Record my fitness minutes on Spark ( I failed to do that last month... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 19:55:38 EST August Ends I am having trouble believing that August is ending. It has been a whirlwind of a month! <BR> <BR> I haven't made a lot of blog posts lately because: <BR> 1. I've been really busy <BR> 2. I've faced a lot of adversity and I don't want to be a Gloomy Guss <BR> 3. My work-outs have be extremely inconsistent <BR> <BR> While I didn't completely fall off of the wagon, I was awful about recording my work-outs and my food. Although I know September has quite a bit going on for me, I'm planning to ... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 12:23:54 EST Loss of a Friend as June Ends My husband's friend passed a way. She fought with all she had. I don't know how her family will go on without her. <BR> <BR> It's funny how as a kid you can't wait to get older. Then, as you get older, you become so much more aware of all the pain in the world and you encounter more responsibilities and struggles. <BR> <BR> June was rough. <BR> <BR> Now July begins... <BR> <em>459</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 2 Jul 2014 17:20:41 EST Bad News We all get a little bad news now and then. <BR> <BR> I've gotten some recently that was frustrating but Tuesday, I got some that was heartbreaking. <BR> <BR> A good friend of my husband's was told that she has only weeks, possibly DAYS left to live. She had gone for treatment for leukemia which they believed was successful at beating. Then she found out the treatment did not help at all and that there was NOTHING further that could be done for her. <BR> <BR> She has always been so vibran... Thu, 19 Jun 2014 15:28:55 EST Happy Father's Day Wishing Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there and to those who have stood in as fathers. <BR> <BR> A father's love combined with a mother's love gives a child such a wonderful foundation! <BR> <BR> <em>389</em> <em>459</em> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:40:46 EST Getting Better but Still Tired I'm feeling a little better today. I really wanted to work out. (I hate seeing the zero in the Spark Fitness minutes for the week.) Since I was struggling to do my basic activities, I decided exercise was still not a good idea. <BR> <BR> I'm working with my doctor to get the anemia under control. Until I do, it makes everything else a little bit more of a challenge because of the fatigue. <BR> <BR> I'm sure tomorrow will be the day I get in fitness minutes. <BR> <BR> I miss my work-outs. Sun, 8 Jun 2014 23:55:06 EST I was in denial...I'm sick again. The month of June started out great for me. I happily logged 95 minutes of fitness on June 1. With a monthly goal of 1,500 fitness (not activity) minutes, I was extremely excited about the approaching days. <BR> <BR> The 2nd of June went well for fitness but then on the third day, I started getting a little tired. I though it was normal fatigue since I had been ill a just a few days before. I thought maybe I had just worn myself by not letting myself recovery fully from being sick. <BR> <B... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 18:47:20 EST May Wrap-Up and June Goals May went pretty well for my goals. <BR> <BR> My Moderate Goals for May: <BR> 1. 1,100 exercise minutes DONE <BR> 2. 2 to 3 days of strength DONE <BR> 3. 3 to 4 days of cardio DONE <BR> 4. Range of motion / flexibility emphasis daily NEEDED IMPROVEMENT <BR> <BR> I give myself a B-. I exceeded goals in most areas but didn't concentrate as much on meeting my flexibility goals until later in the month. <BR> <BR> I almost made it to 1,500 minutes of fitness but being sick held me back. I... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 20:31:12 EST Not Feeling Well, 1,500 probably won't happen I've been sick since yesterday. I thought today would be better but I was wrong. I was REALLY hoping to get some fitness minutes in today. Didn't happen. I doubt I'll make it to the 1,500 this month. I almost feel like I jinxed it when I posted about the possibility. <BR> <BR> No problem, though, It will be a goal for June. <BR> <BR> Hoping I'm well enough for a work-out tomorrow. I really feel like crud today... Thu, 29 May 2014 23:51:30 EST Reducing Stress Had a doctorr's appointment today. My doctor says I need to reduce stress. <BR> <BR> Of course I already knew this. <BR> <BR> A million dollars would reduce my stress... <BR> <BR> ...until then, I'll be looking for ways to avoid stressors and better manage those I can't avoid. <BR> <BR> Thanks for the encouragement on the 1,500 exercise minutes for May. I'm still hoping to make that happen. Wed, 28 May 2014 11:20:27 EST So Close to 1,500 minutes Yesterday was busy. I started out with not a lot of sleep and then didn't get to bed until the early hours of today. I'm tired. <BR> <BR> I decided to let today be a real rest day. It's been hard to stick with that, even though I'm extremely tired. <BR> <BR> I had a lot of "activity" yesterday but not necessarily exercise. I logged fifteen minutes because I did get in some walking that was exercise. It was more than 15 minutes but I didn't time it. I was sore after all that I had done yes... Sun, 25 May 2014 20:02:35 EST Sometimes Life is Tough and almost Overwhelming I've been under a lot of stress. Things have just been tough. <BR> <BR> I'm eating better, I'm working-out, but my life is full of stress. <BR> <BR> Some days the stress is overwhelming. Today is one of those days. <BR> <BR> I'm going to listen to get in some more exercise, listen to some music, and pray. <BR> <BR> At least today I will reach the goal of 100,000 spark points. Although it doesn't really do anything to alleviate the craziness that happens in my life, it's a small reflection... Thu, 22 May 2014 22:47:48 EST Out of the Mouths of Babes I like to think of Sundays in a positive light. Normally, the day has a more relaxed breakfast than week days, followed by church, then what some would call supper, family time, and then a final small meal. <BR> <BR> Lately, though, Sundays have been stressful. <BR> <BR> Lightening up my day was my son asking me if I had lost weight. He made my day since he's not one who is quick to compliment. <BR> <BR> I'm trying to be healthy and consistent. I guess I'm doing something right. <BR> ... Sun, 18 May 2014 23:22:35 EST Short, But Not Really Sweet, Entry I'm tired today. Long day at work. So much I still need to do at home. <BR> <BR> It's going to be hard to try to crank out a work-out but I am determined to do it. <BR> <BR> Hoping I have more energy tomorrow since I have a lot planned. <BR> <BR> Doing pretty well still with the May challenge. Missed two days of walking but more than made up the mileage on days that I did walk/run. Days missed were due to really needing rest. <BR> <BR> I've been staying in calorie range pretty well too, t... Fri, 16 May 2014 21:00:47 EST Old Photographs I'm doing some sorting, rearranging, and purging at the house. I ran across some old photographs that I never put into books. <BR> <BR> It was interesting to look through the pictures at different phases of the last two decades. Little moments I had forgotten came back so clearly. <BR> <BR> I've been a few different sizes and weights during these years. My taste in clothes has changed a little but is still pretty much the same. <BR> <BR> The thing I notice the most is how hopeful I look... Wed, 14 May 2014 20:52:05 EST Missing My Other Mothers Mother's Day is always bittersweet for me. I love my mother dearly and love doing special things for her. <BR> <BR> Two other women who were huge parts of my life are now gone. They were my grandmothers, but more like other mothers. Every Mother's Day it tugs at my heart. It usually hits me unexpectedly, even though it happens each year. Normally, I think that I'm doing fine, and then some memory will come to me. <BR> <BR> I celebrate their lives today, along with my mother's! I miss them ... Sun, 11 May 2014 16:14:09 EST Ups and Downs After a crazy day, I hit the gym, thankful to be able to make the time for the work-out. I hadn't had much to eat but knew that if I ate first, I'd be pushing the work-out back even further, putting myself in danger of skipping it. <BR> <BR> The first mile went well, even with the slow pace of my warm-up and the issue with my quad. The second mile, I fizzled quite a bit. I got really frustrated with myself and wanted to quit. I felt like my calves were screaming and the gym felt like the the... Sat, 10 May 2014 20:50:07 EST May's Non-Scale Victory As some of you already know, I have a love-hate relationship with my scale. Right now I'm leaning away from love <em>211</em> and avoiding the doggone thing. <BR> <BR> Today, however, I had a lovely non-scale victory. I wore a couple of items to work today that a few months ago could not be fastened. I LOVE IT!!! <BR> <BR> I've been trying really hard to keep my food intake within range and so far I'm keeping up with Spark's May Challenge. <BR> <BR> Hoping May continues to go well in the... Fri, 9 May 2014 20:37:24 EST Best Treadmill Walk/Run in a While!!! Yesterday I arrived at the gym with the intention of knocking out 3 miles. I was planning to do at least one mile on the treadmill and the remainder on the elliptical. <BR> <BR> I was able to sustain a higher speed this time, in walking and running, and decided to do all three miles on the treadmill. I didn't want to push too hard or over do anything (like I have a tendency to do) so I only did a few intervals. I felt GREAT afterward. <BR> <BR> I felt so great I was actually questioning the... Wed, 7 May 2014 14:01:33 EST Spark May Challenge, Day 5 I'm enjoying the May Challenge. I had a few concerns at first, since it doesn't reference a rest day, but there's no reason that the mile requirement for a day can't be walked at a casual stroll. I would think that would still be nice activity for the body while not overexerting the muscles. So far, though, I've been pushing myself in the walks, but we've only covered 4 days. <BR> <BR> I intended for yesterday to be a rest-like day. When I arrived at my walking destination, I was stressed-ou... Mon, 5 May 2014 08:42:28 EST No Music After an exhausting day, I still managed to stumble to the gym. I was all excited about going and forgot to take my ipod. Unfortunately, there is no longer music on my phone due to a reset. <BR> <BR> Working-out without the music was tough. It definitely made every minute seem like five minutes. Still, I made it through my work-out. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I may have to rest. I'm already a little sore but I really don't think I overdid anything. I think I pushed myself just enough. I'll know be... Sat, 3 May 2014 23:59:14 EST Spark's May Challenge Spark posted a "Mile-A-Day Challenge for May." <link><BR>st=step_into_may_with_a_new_challenge </link> <BR> <BR> I'm planning to try complete my mile for as many days as possible. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I did a little over 3 miles. My shoe was rubbing on the back of my heel driving me crazy and I had an unexpected cramp in my side. Otherwise, I would have been able to do a little more. <BR> <BR> Looking forward to today's work-out. I'm planning some str... Fri, 2 May 2014 09:24:17 EST Hooray! It's May!! Something about the month of May seems so promising. Maybe it's the adage of April being the cruellest month. (T. S. Eliot) Whatever the case, I'm happy for the start of May. <BR> <BR> My goals for April were on the lighter side. I worked diligently on each (flexibility, stamina, fighting anemia) and did pretty well. I'd give myself a B- as I probably could have worked harder on my iron acquisitions. <BR> <BR> This month, I'm going go a little further but not too far from what I had last ... Thu, 1 May 2014 09:44:41 EST Forced Indoors With the warmer temperatures I've been trying to get outside more. Unfortunately, the temperature keeps dropping and when the temperature is at a good number, the pollen is just too prevalent. I've been forced indoors. <BR> <BR> I'm not really what one would call and outdoorsy person, but I do like some time outside to enjoy the flowers, the trees, beaches, mountains, etc. Lately I've been feeling a little robbed. I had planned to participate in a 5K this month but my allergy symptoms wouldn... Tue, 29 Apr 2014 23:06:39 EST Family Gatherings I'm very interested in my family history. The research I've done has also made my child interested in his history as well, which means I need to do a little research on my husband's side to help. <BR> <BR> We're supposed to go to a family gathering soon. I've never met many of these people before and some of them I met and talked to very briefly many, many years ago. I'm learning to accept myself as I am but part of me still feels self-conscious about going to this event to meet people. <BR>... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:53:11 EST Facing Harsh Realities My husband suggested that I buy a new dress as I haven't really bought one in a VERY long time. I went to the store with the intention of getting a new Easter suit for my son and the hope of finding a dress or a little ensemble for myself. <BR> <BR> I didn't want to spend a lot on the dress as I don't plan to stay the size I am. I grabbed a couple of pretty items to try and faced that horrible full-length mirror. <BR> <BR> I hated EVERYTHING on me. <BR> <BR> Harsh reality #1 : I've got som... Sat, 19 Apr 2014 23:59:14 EST Moon Watching I couldn't sleep last night. Into the early hours of the morning, I still couldn't fall asleep. I decided to watch the lunar eclipse, or at least, take peeks at it. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to see anything but I was able to find a live feed online. It was cool to watch, especially since I was trying to fall asleep. It was just pretty and peaceful. <BR> <BR> I think sitting still and observing things is good for all of us. The stillness and quiet is something we all need at... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:06:28 EST Quick Update Today was really better. I've done much more walking, was able to do more housework, and I feel like I may be able to run tomorrow. I thought I would be able to run today but I was wrong. <BR> <em>2</em> <BR> Still, today is better. That's a blessing. I am very thankful! <BR> <em>458</em> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 23:56:04 EST Much Better Today Thank you all for your comments. I'm doing much better today. <BR> <BR> I didn't approach stairs with as much trepidation today! <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> By Saturday, I think I'll feel like myself again. <BR> <BR> Today, I've been taking things slowly, gently. <BR> <BR> I've been looking over my work-out from Monday to see areas that I may need to modify. I've decided to back-off of some of the leg work or to divide up different exercises between different days again. For the upp... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:13:15 EST Worse Today I really thought the pain would be better today. Sadly, I was wrong. <BR> <BR> I think some of my muscles that were already hurting went on strike. They decided to let the other muscles do all the work. Now those muscles are hurting. I really did a number on myself. <BR> <BR> I don't know where I went wrong. I didn't go crazy but the pain means that clearly I went beyond what would be considered healthy. Now, I can't run. Not that I had made much advancement in running, but I was doing som... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 21:11:39 EST Gently I go... If there was any doubt in my mind that I worked by abs or my quads sufficiently yesterday, all doubt was gone when I climbed out of bed this morning. <BR> <BR> I had trouble with almost every movement there is. I think I overdid almost everything but those are the two areas where I feel it the most. Maybe it's because those areas are constantly in use. <BR> <BR> Today's work-out was much more gentle. Tomorrow, I'm hoping the soreness will have faded more and I'll be able to resume my sched... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 23:20:11 EST Grand Ideas I decided to step up the work-outs a bit. I'm trying to now alternate running, as much as I can, with short walking rest intervals on one day and doing full-body strength on alternating days. I'm alternating for six days and then resting completely, I think, on the seventh day. <BR> <BR> Yeah.... <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> The running day, yesterday, went very well. I was happy with how it session went. <BR> <BR> The strength day, wow, not what I had hoped. <BR> <BR> I am just not used to... Mon, 7 Apr 2014 23:37:38 EST Wonderful Walk We went out to dinner to celebrate for the birthday of a friend. After dinner, I knew I didn't have time to go back home and go to the gym. Instead, I drove to a nearby area that has pretty trees in bloom with LOTS of people walking and sitting, and I walked until I felt like almost couldn't go on...but in a good way. <BR> <BR> It felt great. There was a breeze, there were flowers, there were people smiling, and saying hello. I really enjoyed it. <BR> <BR> I'm hoping I don't pay for it with... Fri, 4 Apr 2014 23:39:32 EST It's April It's April! I'm so glad that March is done! <BR> <BR> March was not my best month. I give myself a big fat C for my goals for last month. With the anemia, it made it hard to do a lot of the activities I normally do. I'm working on beating this and other obstacles but the road has been rough. <BR> <BR> For April, my goals are modest. I have very simple goals. <BR> 1. Improve my stamina <BR> 2. Improve my flexibility <BR> 3. Work on beating the anemia <BR> <BR> That's it. <BR> <BR> Could I ... Tue, 1 Apr 2014 23:31:30 EST Silly Me, I thought it was spring... The past few days have been warmer. It's been really nice. I've enjoyed not needing a real coat. <BR> <BR> I stepped outside today without checking the weather report. I knew we were expecting rain and didn't bother to check on the temperature. Big mistake. <BR> <BR> I guess it will feel like spring when God is ready for it to feel like Spring. <BR> <BR> Fortunately, I had a heavy jacket in the car and didn't have to go back for a coat. I hadn't warmed the car ahead of time, which was a mi... Sun, 30 Mar 2014 20:59:57 EST Looking Back I have a friend with whom I meet once a month. We both stay pretty busy but try to keep in contact and do fun activities when we can. <BR> <BR> Today, we hadn't really planned ahead. We went to dinner and then took a walk for some exercise and fresh air. <BR> <BR> During the walk we talked about different things that meant something to us when we were younger. We talked about choices we had made, good and bad. <BR> <BR> The talk made me think about doing some of the things I did before. It... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 00:00:06 EST Some Days... Our heat went out yesterday. The temperature outside was in the freezing range. Fortunately, we were able to get someone to repair it quickly. <BR> <BR> Then, I got turned around on my way to an appointment. I called my destination to say I might arrive late. (It's about a 40 min. drive but it was turning into about a 45 to 50 min endeavor.) <BR> <BR> I arrived at the destination a few minutes late but within the time given "grace period." The parking garage was almost full. Took almost 10 ... Wed, 19 Mar 2014 16:54:20 EST I Might Need a New Scale As mentioned before, I have taken a scale hiatus. Today, out of curiosity, with no intent to record the number, I hopped on the scale. The number seemed odd, but possible to me. I stepped off, waited a minute, then stepped back on. I got a different number. <BR> <BR> I started walking away. Then, turned back around, waited a minute, and stepped back on the scale. <BR> <BR> Guess what! A different number. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> It's a good thing I'm not quite ready to end the hiat... Sat, 15 Mar 2014 13:46:43 EST Sick Child I hate when my child is sick. I hate that anything ever hurts him or makes him feel bad in any way. <BR> <BR> I know, though, that getting sick, like encountering any obstacle, is a part of life. <BR> <BR> Hoping he'll be better soon. <BR> <BR> Always hoping and praying for the best for him. <BR> <BR> Supposedly it's the tough times that make us stronger. <BR> <em>211</em> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 20:41:24 EST Anemic There is a reason I'm so tired all the time. I'm anemic. <BR> I thought I had the anemia beat. Guess not. <BR> <BR> I'm going to beat it, though. I'm going to get my energy back. <BR> <BR> We'll be monitoring things for a while. <BR> <BR> On a good note, it appears as though my organs are functioning properly. The good food and exercise are helping me in some way, even if I haven't gotten the energy boost I need. With a few tweaks, hopefully I'll be roaring on all cylinders. <BR> <em>21... Wed, 12 Mar 2014 17:50:52 EST Answers Tomorrow the doctor is supposed to have more of my results. I'm looking forward to hearing what they are and seeing if maybe we can get these allergies in check. <BR> <BR> I'm still working diligently but I have exceeded my allotted calories a few days this month. Nothing crazy, though, and still in range if I average the calories from each day so far this month. <BR> <BR> I've had a colorful day today. I haven't logged all my food yet and I'm hoping that I'm still within range. I allowe... Tue, 11 Mar 2014 22:53:57 EST Allergies Kicking my Behind It's not quite spring but for some reason my allergies are in high gear. They are really ruining my work-out stamina. <BR> <BR> I've started taking my allergy meds again but I may need to switch. The one I'm using doesn't seem to be doing the job well enough. <BR> <BR> I really didn't think my allergies would be this bad yet. We've still got freezing temperatures. <BR> <BR> Hopefully this is not an indication of things to come. If so, I may be in real trouble this spring. Thu, 6 Mar 2014 23:35:04 EST Needing a Vacation I haven't taken a vacation by myself, ever. I'm extremely tempted to try to plan such an event now. Other times when I've considered doing this, I knew I would miss a family member too much. <BR> <BR> I'm debating now if I just went somewhere, for a couple of days, without taking family with me, how it would go. <BR> <BR> I feel like I want to wake up and not worry about what someone eats or drinks, or what they wear, or what they left at home... <BR> <BR> ...just for a few days. Wed, 5 Mar 2014 23:18:39 EST Not Feeding the Stress I promised myself I would celebrate and encourage myself with victories, even when they are little victories. <BR> <BR> My stress level has been high lately. Normally, I'm a stress eater. For quite some time now, I have managed to NOT feed my stress. It has become a littler easier to NOT reach for food. I haven't figured out how to eliminate as much stress as I would like but I'm doing better with dealing with least as far as food is concerned. <BR> <BR> Exercise helps me with the s... Tue, 4 Mar 2014 22:56:04 EST a Clear Sign of Stress I'm a little stressed. Sometimes, I think I'm so conditioned to the stress that I don't notice it. <BR> <BR> Last night my husband and I went to an event. At the very center of the table's centerpiece was a wine glass. It had some type of colored liquid in it as well as a floating candle. I wanted to drink it...and I don't drink. <BR> <BR> I kept gazing at it. It was almost comical. <BR> <BR> Obviously I'm stressed. I'm still working on stress relief. I think it's one of those things you ... Sun, 2 Mar 2014 23:50:01 EST March Goals 2014 March is here! I am so glad. <BR> <BR> Soon flowers will be everywhere! They will make me sneeze but I will still love them! <BR> <BR> I'm waiting for some medical test results to come back but I still want to set some goals. <BR> <BR> For now: <BR> 5 days of cardio <BR> 3 days of strength <BR> work on flexibility and range of motion 5 days per wk <BR> 1250 fitness minutes <BR> 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables 4 to 5 days per wk <BR> try a new fruit, vegetable, or grain <BR> listen... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 23:02:12 EST February Ends (2014) I had high hopes for February. I think I did pretty well. While there are areas that need improvement, I really put forth some serious effort. <BR> <BR> I ended up going to the doctor today. They ran some tests and I hope to hear some news soon. In the meantime, I'm pushing forward and hopeful that I can keep improving! <BR> <BR> February Goals <BR> <BR> Food Goals <BR> 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day <em>48</em> <BR> at least 60 grams of protein each day MOST DA... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 21:19:47 EST 7 Weeks, Concerned Today marks seven weeks of healthy eating and exercise. While I can see definite improvements, I have areas of concern. I've decided to move up my doctor's appointment, if there is an appointment available. <BR> <BR> I am not seeing the improvements anywhere near the rates I achieved previously. Also, my energy isn't improving, when previously the work-outs made wonderful improvements in this area. <BR> <BR> Also, even though I have eased up a little in my work-outs, I'm finding my need f... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:19:27 EST Cranky Last night I had a hard time sleeping. I was up all night. I was still awake at 5:55 am. <BR> <BR> Then, I had to get up and get to the office earlier than normal. <BR> <BR> I've had about an hour of sleep. I had to work late. <BR> <BR> I'm so cranky but I can't get to sleep. It's crazy!!! <BR> <BR> As tired as I am, I was REALLY nice to everyone today, even people who got on my nerves. I just feel weird. <BR> <BR> Hoping to get good sleep tonight so I can have a great work-out tomo... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:53:36 EST Fitness Gear / Work-out Clothes, Recommendations? I decided to reward myself with fitness gear for continuing in my health journey. <BR> <BR> I need to buy more work-out clothes. I've been putting it off because I don't want to spend money on items that I'm only going to wear for a short time. I don't remember getting rid of my larger sized work-out wear from years before, but apparently I only kept a few pieces. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I am not slimming down as fast as I would like. I'm working-out regularly and a few items are way past ... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 23:51:16 EST